Strive for peace

Strive for peace with everyone, and to be pure, for without purity no one will see the Lord. Make sure that none of you fails to receive the grace of God and don’t let any root of bitterness grow up to cause trouble and corrupt many.

See that no one is immoral or godless – like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. You know that afterwards, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. And even though he begged with tears, he couldn’t alter his decision.

You haven’t come to a mountain that can be touched, like that at Sinai, with burning fire, darkness, gloom and wind. The Israelites heard a trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged for it to stop speaking to them. Nor could they bear God’s command: “If even an animal touches this mountain, it must be stoned to death.”

Moses himself was so frightened by the sight that he confessed, “I’m trembling with fear.”

No, you’ve come to Mount Zion – the city of the living God – the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a gathering of joy. You’ve come to the assembly of the firstborn, those whose names are written in heaven, and to God, the judge of all. You’ve come to the spirits of the just who’ve been made perfect. And you’ve come to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks of better things than that of Abel.

See to it that you don’t refuse to listen to him who is speaking. If the people who were warned on earth failed to escape when they refused to listen, how can we escape if we refuse to listen to him who speaks from heaven? At Sinai, his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”

The words “once more” means the removing of anything left to be shaken, so that only the unshakable things will remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let’s be thankful and worship God with reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.


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